Sunday, July 27, 2014

Garfield Explains The Truth About Exercise and Your Mood!

While at a pal's house recently, I spied this little GARFIELD magnet on a cabinet:
It's very cute. But, it's very untrue.

Regular (or even irregular) exercise actually elevates mood, eases depression, relieves stress, and promotes relaxation. During exertion, "feel good" endorphins are released, your energy level is boosted, and you just plain feel better!

In addition, that overall improved mood and sense of accomplishment and well-being from exercise can be enhanced by simply feeling better about yourself, your appearance, and (most importantly) your health.

"There's good epidemiological data to suggest that active people are less depressed than inactive people. And people who were active and stopped tend to be more depressed than those who maintain or initiate an exercise program," says James Blumenthal, PhD, a clinical psychologist at Duke University.

Schedule a free consultation with a Fitness on Call trainer today, and learn more about how you can benefit from regular exercise, brought to you on your schedule!

Write or call today! (704) 292-5345 or!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Physical Exercise: Even a Little Does a Lot!

Here is a new article that reaffirms the amazing benefits of even a small amount of exercise!
A study that will be published next month from the Stanford University School of Medicine concludes that physical activity beats diet when it comes to fighting obesity. Some argue, in fact that physical exercise is the best medicine available. The open question is how much is needed to reap the maximum gains. The conclusions are in and institutions around the globe agree that 15 – 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise, five times each week, reap significant health benefits.
A Stanford study, which examined tens of thousands of Americans over a 22 period of years, concluded, first, that a program of either moderate or vigorous physical exercise work well – it depends on individual preference. It went on to state that the ideal amount of physical moderate exercise is more than 150 minutes per week while vigorous exercise should ideally be 75 minutes per week or more.
More than one-third of adult Americans are considered obese by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Obesity is known to be a major factor in the development of cardiovascular disease, cancer and generally increased mortality. While diet is also known to contribute to obesity, the Stanford study noted that American caloric intake barely changed during the study period but time spent in a sedentary state increased dramatically. This brought about the conclusion that physical exercise can have a significantly greater impact on health than diet.
Again, vigorous exercise is not necessary, only if it is your preference. Any movement is good, including a brisk walk, said I-Min Lee, a Harvard School of Public Health professor of epidemiology. She describes a brisk walk as the speed you might go if you were late to an appointment. 

The researcher and her colleagues determined that people who exercised just 15 minutes each day had a life expectancy three full years longer than those who were inactive. Enjoying a brisk 15 to 30-minute walk five times a week might not seem like a big deal, but the fact is that one-third of world’s adults and 80 percent of teens do not do this.
Researchers at Taiwan’s National Health Research Institutes set out on their own study to determine, again, the minimum amounts of activity needed to get substantive health benefits. Their enormous study examined the physical activity of more than 400,000 people over eight years. It confirms the American studies to a tee: People who engaged in moderate exercise of 15 minutes per day had a life expectancy of three years longer on average. Also, the same active people were 14 percent less likely to die during the study’s follow-up period than those who were inactive.
Regarding cancer, an implication lurking in the Taiwanese data suggest that one in every nine cancer deaths among the inactive people could have been avoided if they were active as described. 

This gigantic finding led the researchers to conclude that 15 minutes of moderate exercise each day produces significant health benefits. Each additional 15 minutes brought added benefits but the first 15 minutes makes the biggest difference. Chi-Pang Wen, one of the study’s authors, said that their conclusions at first looked “too good to be true.” 
Wen and his team took into account different lifestyle factors like drinking, smoking, hypertension and diabetes. Most significantly, regardless of such factors, the health benefits were still there.
Again, Stanford says that physical exercise is more important than diet. And the Taiwanese study agrees that the most benefit for moderate exercise starts at 15 minutes a day but adds that other impactful lifestyle factors (such as smoking, etc.) are all but irrelevant to their findings.
Other gains beyond the physical can include improved mental health, an improved natural environment and, as some observers conclude, more social connectedness. What is crucial is to engage in a type of physical exercise you enjoy. I-Min Lee at Harvard said that “A little bit is good, more is better,” All physical activity is important, he said, whether it is playing with your grandchildren or ballroom dancing. “It isn’t that you have to go out for a run.”
By Gregory Baskin

Schedule a free consultation with a Fitness on Call trainer today, and learn more about how you can benefit from regular exercise, brought to you on your schedule!

Write or call today! (704) 292-5345 or!

Friday, July 4, 2014

No Room For Workouts?

I hear it all the time.

"I'd love to get a full workout, but have no time to get to the gym, and there's just no room at home for bulky workout machines or rows of free weights and barbells! What do I do?"

No worries. Today's fitness choices seem almost limitless, compared to the "old days" of nothing but heavy weights and massive machines.

For an effective workout that can be done anywhere, in  a small amount of space, try using resistance or exercise bands. These colorful and fun bands can be used for almost any resistance exercise, are lightweight, and can be packed away to travel with you anywhere! No room for bicep curls with heavy weights? Secure the middle end of a band beneath your feet, adjust for the amount of resistance you want, and curl away! 
Above: Resistance bands being used for bicep curls!

Use the same set-up (as described above) for lunges (what used to be called "deep knee bends"), for added resistance during the upward movement.

Above: Standing lunges being performed, using resistance bands!

You can also lie on your back (or take a seated position) with a band secured under the top of the foot, for some nice calf stretches. You can even use bands for a good old-fashioned chest and pec stretch, stretching the bands horizontally across the chest to work the shoulders, chest,and back muscles.
Above: Using resistance bands for calf stretches!

Most bands are available anywhere, and come in colors that correspond to the resistance level. The can even be combined in a workout, in order to give you the desired resistance!

But bands aren't the only popular in-home exercise item out there!  The fairly small and easy to handle BOSU ball (think of a sturdy half-circle device) is a great item for all sorts of exercises, including balance routines (that target the core and ab muscles), push-ups (the flat side gives you an added platform for more challenging sets), lunges (the rounded side can put the leg at a different angle,  to hit more of the quad and hamstring muscles), and much more!

Above: The BOSU ("BOth Sides Up") ball in use!

Many of those exercises can also be performed with an inflatable exercise ball, that can be deflated for easy travel, plus the ball gives you a base for ab crunches, balance exercises, stretches, and more!

Don't forget such small-size devices as ankle and wrist weights, jump ropes, and medicine balls! These items also take up little space, and are easily transported!

One thing to watch out for when looking for this type of equipment-the "as seen on TV" "quick fix" exercise products! Most of these items promise to immediately fix any problem area, in just seconds of use a day. The reality is that most are ineffective, hard to assemble and use, and just plain worthless. 

When it comes to the portable workout, without a lot of room, think simple.

Schedule a free consultation with a Fitness on Call trainer today, and learn more about how you can benefit from regular exercise, brought to you on your schedule!

Write or call today! (704) 292-5345 or!